Is kratom legal in Australia? – Lexology2 min read
It is illegal to possess, supply, manufacture or produce Kratom (‘mitragyna speciosa’) in Australia. These offences range from 12-months jail to 2 years jail and/or $2,200 fine in NSW. Similar penalties apply across State and Territories of Australia because Kratom is a schedule 9 substance under the Current Poisons Standard referred to in the Poisons list.
WHAT IS KRATOM?
Kratom (‘mitragyna speciosa’) is a type of plant with large green leaves that is reported to have mild stimulant effects. It’s known for its analgesic properties and euphoric effects. The leaves contain mitragynine chemicals that work similar to opioids such as morphine. Whilst many advocates have praised the plant for its health benefits, it is currently illegal in Australia.
It traditionally grows in Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia, and has been compared to opiates and other stimulant drugs.
A study by John Hopkins Medicine, in surveying 2,700 self-reported users, found that 91% of them used the substance for pain relief.
It was used for anxiety in 67% of studied cases, in 64% to treat depression, and in 41% of users to treat opioid dependence.
Of those using the drug to treat for opioid dependence, 87% reported relief from withdrawal symptoms, and 35% went for more than a year without taking opioids or heroin.
Types of Kratom
Is Kratom used as a tea? Kratom is sold as tea, powder, capsules, and leaves.
What is Kratom leaf used for? The leaves were traditionally chewed in Thailand and other parts of Asia.
What is the active drug in Kratom?
There are multiple different strains of kratom, which provide different effects to users. This is due to different levels of the two principal alkaloids, ‘mitragynine’ and ‘7-hydroxymitragynine.’
The strains are differentiated by the colour of the veins present on the leaves, and include white vein kratom, red vein kratom, and green vein kratom.
What are the Benefits of Kratom?
Reported effects of Kratom include relaxing muscles, managing pain, acting as a mood-supportive and causing a euphoric feeling.
What are the side-effects of Kratom?
The side effects of kratom are reported to include low blood pressure, gastrointestinal issues, nausea, lethargy, dizziness, vomiting.
Studies indicated that 19% of users experience mild side effects, with only 1.9% experiencing serious side effects.
However, the Mayo Clinic has reported that kratom has caused at least 36 deaths.
It remains illegal in many countries including Denmark, Finland, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Myanmar, Malaysia, Poland, Romania, …….